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Guj stays worse in social development: Jairam

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh pointed to 'retrogation' in social development indices in Gujarat.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi |
November 2, 2011 3:16:28 pm

Holding that economic development does not necessarily ensure human development,Union Minister Jairam Ramesh today pointed to “retrogation” in social development indices in Narendra Modi-ruled Gujarat.

“Economic development does not guarantee human development. It does not automatically guarantee social development. A more disturbing fact is that actually economic development may lead to retrogation of social indices,” he told a gathering of environmentalists and intellectuals on the occasion of the release of the Human Development Report 2011.

Citing the case of Kerala and Gujarat,he said,“Kerala is the number one state in India in terms of Human Development Indices (HDI) but ranks pretty low in economic growth and Gujarat,which is very high on economic growth ranks pretty low in human development.

“Gujarat ranks even lower than some North Indian states,when it comes to malnutrition and hunger indices,” Ramesh said.

“This is a paradox that in pockets of economic prosperity,you do not find commensurate increase in human development and social indices,” he said.

Ramesh said though economic growth is essential for employment and generating resources to tackle problem of backlog in human development,it’s not an automatic relation that you get social development through economic development.

The Union Minister also flagged the declining child sex ratio in Gujarat.

“Child sex ratio indices are not only adverse in Punjab,Delhi and Haryana but have become increasingly adverse even in Gujarat also,which is a bit of surprising. That was not the case 20 years ago but,today,Gujarat is one of the states that is mentioned with Punjab,Haryana and Delhi for adverse sex ratio in the country,” Ramesh said.

Ramesh said that not only the experiences within the country but even in relation to that in the neighbourhood of Pakistan and Bangladesh attest to the fact.

“Bangladesh’s status of women indicators even mortality indicators are much better than not just the indicators of West Bengal,UP and Bihar,which is only expected but Bangladesh ranks higher than Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka as well,which are supposed to be the two economic growth stalwart states in our country,” the minister said.

Pointing out that even Bangladesh and Pakistan have better representations for women in Parliament (20 percent and 18 percent respectively),Ramesh also made a strong pitch for implementing Women Reservation Bill that seeks reserving 33 per cent seats in Lok Sabha and state assemblies for the fair sex.

“We have recorded huge success in Panchayati Raj Institutions as 40 per cent out of the 40 lakh people elected there are women even though we had reserved only 33 percent seats for them.

“But in Parliament and Assemblies their representation is not beyond 10 percent. We are lagging far behind in this regard and hence it is very necessary to bring in reservation for them in Parliament and Assemblies. If reservation is not brought,their precentage will continue to hang around 8 to 10 percent,” the minister said.

He said the “revolution” that has come in PRIs should also be coming in the Assemblies and Lok Sabha.

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